Relationships are like rollercoasters.  They all have ups and downs.  Some relationships have more ups than downs where others have more downs than ups.  Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can assist in protecting individual assets in the case of divorce or death.

What are Prenuptial Agreements?

The courts in Florida also call prenuptial agreements, premarital agreements. The premarital agreement is a legal contract between two individuals before marriage.  These agreements often guide the courts on how to split marital assets and determine alimony in case the marriage ends in a divorce.  The agreement becomes executed once the marriage has been made official.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract between two spouses after they are married. It acts like a prenuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement often guides the courts on how to split marital assets, determine alimony, and/or child support.  The agreement becomes executed once both parties sign the contract, but may run the risk of not being enforceable.

Why Would a Person Want a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are many reasons why couples decide to have a prenuptial agreement.

  • If one or both spouses own assets before marriage and want to be able to keep those assets in the case of divorce.
  • If one or both spouses have children from a previous relationship and they want to ensure that those children can keep their inheritance from those previous relationships.
  • One or both spouses have a business that they wish to keep separate and apart from the marital assets.
  • If they want to make a prearranged agreement on alimony instead of leaving it up to the courts to decide.

Why Would a Person Want a Postnuptial Agreement?

In addition to the reasons outlined for a prenuptial agreement, a couple makes a postnuptial agreement when one of the spouses comes into sudden wealth. For example, if they inherit a family heirloom and they want to set up an agreement on how to handle the property. The arrangement is in case of divorce or death.

What Would Make Either Agreement Unenforceable?

For either agreement to be enforceable, both spouses must have voluntarily signed the agreement.  Additionally, if the court finds that one spouse hid assets or debts from the other spouse before signing, then they might rule the agreement null and void.  Lastly, if anybody signs the agreement under duress or fraud, then the agreement is null and void as well.

Should My Partner and I Sign a Prenuptial Agreements or Postnuptial Agreements?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are a very delicate topic.  If your partner wishes to have you sign one, you should consult a lawyer to ensure you are protected.  Likewise, if you wish to have your partner sign an agreement, you should consult with a lawyer to ensure the agreement will protect you and hold up in court.  Lastly, if you are facing a divorce and a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was signed, you should consult a lawyer to determine how it will impact your divorce proceedings.  Feel free to contact the lawyers at Thompson Law on any of the issues mention in this article.